During January and February, we will be reflecting on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. It’s a story of compassion, courage, and faithfulness. Above all, it speaks about how God works in our world to bring restoration.
As a key leader rebuilding Jerusalem after Israel’s exile in Babylon, Nehemiah puts his life on the line. He boldly asks for the necessary resources, unites the people, seeks justice, and overcomes resistance. It’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible.
I choose it because it reminds me of the season we are in as a church family. Right now, we are emerging from
a pandemic that has altered the way we live out our faith. Like Nehemiah, we mourn the loss of what has been. And yet, like Nehemiah, we are ready to do something about it! There is so much to reclaim about the past. And there is tremendous opportunity to create an even greater future.
We are calling the series – “Renovate”. On staff, I had been joking about RE-novating (in line with the other series of RE-setting and RE-joicing). But then I discovered that “novate” is actually a word! It means to replace with a new contract, which seems appropriate. Part of Nehemiah’s story is a rededication of the Israelites to a new life under God. They finish the walls and create a new contract, so to speak.
With that in mind, we will be looking at several faith practices that appear in Nehemiah and which help Israelites in their quest to rebuild. Practices of lament and confession and prayer and fasting. Our goal is to spend some time in these practices corporately. We believe they will help us focus on who God calls us to be as a church family! I invite you to join us as we ponder and reflect on the story of Nehemiah. And I encourage you to invest more than 20 minutes (the length of a sermon) a week in learning its rich lessons. Be sure to read and do some research yourself!
~ Rev. David Miller, Senior Pastor
We invite you to read and meditate on the Book of Nehemiah!